It’s hard to get on a Mako boat today and not think back to the glory days of the ’70s and early ’80s, when you were hard-pressed not to see a Mako at a marina. But it’s important to remember that there were few other brands with a full product line from 17 to 28 feet and a top-shelf dealer system, plus few companies were as focused on fishing.
Mako’s new 284 center console is a breath of fresh air for the company. Built on a nice-riding hull surface and utilizing some proven, advanced boatbuilding components, the 284 is a respectable family fishing boat. Boats like this often get lost in the maze of center console offerings, but the 284 can hold its own when a competitive analysis of similar boats is performed.
We tested the boat on a cool early winter day out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with a 10 mph easterly breeze and a two-to three-foot chop – great for a good run to check out the boat. As I eased the boat on plane out Port Everglades Inlet and turned a course to run up the beach looking for bait, I was pleasantly surprised by the hull’s handling of the slop. It was very consistent, not hard or loud on entry, and dry, thankfully, as I had forgotten my foul-weather gear.
I love to really drive boats, and I liked the responsiveness of the 284, with its twin 250 hp Mercury Verado engines and agility when reacting to my adjustments to the wheel – we lifted up and over waves and rode down the backside with no banging or massive amounts of water flying skyward. Even turning into the seas, the 284 hull did a fine job. It drifted beautifully for a nice kite spread or a fluke drift over a favorite piece of bottom. It slipped easily through the water for a slow troll and didn’t sneeze any spray in front of the boat when we sped up to troll a bit faster.
The 284 CC has its share of innovative features, including a nice complement of standards and some very useful factory options to make your 284 a bit more suited your personal needs. On the foredeck I found line chocks and a single 10-inch cleat, as well as deck-mounted USCG-compliant navigation lights and a brushed anodized aluminum bow rail that trails back along the sides of the forward cockpit. The anchor locker, under the foredeck, is accessed through a louvered door and features a hard mounting point for the ground tackle to keep it from banging around in the locker.
Two forward seats lie port and starboard, with 214 quarts of storage underneath. Along the centerline is a cavernous 470-quart storage bin in the forward cockpit sole. Aft, a 36-quart drink cooler in the console forward seat keeps beverages handy, and two cup holders rest beside the cushioned upholstery. There is a starboard-side gasketed, lockable walk-in door to the console with an oval porthole. Inside the finished console, there are 75 inches of headroom and a freshwater sink, plus good access on the back bulkhead to the battery bank and backside of the electronics dash. An optional electric head with holding tank is available.
The business end of the console features a safety-glass windscreen and a large panel for mounting electronics. Our test boat had two large 15-inch displays and a third 12-inch display mounted there. All switches are recessed under the portside helm, with a clear plexiglass cover. Trim-tab switches and the binnacle are mounted to starboard of the wheel along the centerline, with the gauge panel above the steering wheel and below the electronics, in plain sight of the operator. A standard aluminum T-top is a nice touch, but the optional fiberglass hardtop, with mounting space for radar and outriggers, makes the boat complete.
The standard leaning post comes loaded with features, including a lift-up seat lid with 38-quart storage underneath and a lockable glove box. Aft, a fully functional bait-prep table with a freshwater sink and hinged cover contains a removable cutting board. There’s a 50-gallon livewell with redundant pumps, as well as a full-width storage area accessed via a door in the front of the unit.
On the port side, a two-drawer tackle storage unit holds loose gear, and on the backside, I found a recessed utility unit that has hook holders, slots for a knife and pliers, a freshwater pull-out shower, and double cup holders. This makes tackle stowage and live- or dead-bait rigging much easier.
Alongside and slightly aft of the console lie port and starboard 390-quart insulated in-deck fish boxes with overboard drains. Along the centerline aft of the leaning post is a gasketed hatch leading to the lazarette for accessing pumps and the aft bilge area. There are under gunwale storage racks, aft coaming cushions, three gunwale-mount rod holders on each side and a raw-water washdown fitting mounted on the port side. The transom has a walk-through door with latch, molded-in swim platforms port and starboard and a transom-mounted, telescoping boarding ladder.
The Mako 284 CC is a nicely thought-out family fisherman. It will be comfortable navigating the blue-water edge, cruising the sound or plug-casting the rocks for monster striped bass, and it’s perfectly capable of both keeping you in the fish and keeping the family happy on play days.
Hull weight……6,000 lbs.
Base Price……$89,995 with twin 200 hp Mercury Optimaxs
Mako: 417-873-4555 • www.mako-boats.com